Friday, February 21, 2020

Welcome to "The Secret Garden Guide!"

Ethnobotanicals have long since been a source of interest for worldwide studies, the relationship between the people and plants and their corresponding effects.

This Guide is dedicated to providing unbiased and detailed reviews of common ethnobotanicals, primarily Kratom and Kava, the perfect stop for consumers, vendors and enthusiasts alike.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Keep Kratom Legal!: Essential Information for Activists and Enthusiasts

The following article is being shared with permission by a prolific kratom enthusiast who wishes to remain anonymous. As many of our readers very well may know, the DEA has lifted their emergency ban on kratom and are holding a comment period through December 1st. There has been an overwhelming response from kratom fans, and we hope this trend will continue up until the last hour we can be heard.

Please take time to read this post and post a comment of your own to save this miracle plant before it's too late.

The original post can be found on subreddit r/kratom.

Please share far and wide! :)
If you're feeling overwhelmed, here's the short version on how to comment on the federal register regarding kratom. (**Includes instructions on commenting anonymously.)
PM US OR /u/carpet_munch IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE OF ANY KIND! we are happy to answer questions or help with grammar, clarity or even help you to formulate your comment using your own story. :)

  1. Go to
  2. Fill in your information (if you want to be anonymous, put "anon" in all the fields except phone and zip. Then put 555-555-5555 for your number and use any zip code in your state)
  3. Write a comment from the heart. We simply do not want to use the words "treat", "medicine", or "cure" because substances with those descriptions fall under FDA control. Kratom has NOT been proven to treat or cure anything and it really is not a medicine. So this is just a way of making sure we are being factual in our description.
  4. Preview the comment to make sure all your text is there (50000 character limit!) and submit. You'll get an email in about 24 hours and your comment will post in a day or two.

NOTE : There really is no reason to worry that the DEA will come after you solely based on your comment, and we encourage commenters to at least provide their name or initials. But it is better to comment anonymously than not at all. The DEA must read and consider EVERY COMMENT. So please be original. Form-letter style responses are greatly discouraged by both the DEA and the AKA. is created by the AKA's PR Team and is safe and reliable to use. However, you may go directly to the federal register site and click "Comment now" on the upper right if you want. NOTE THAT YOU MUST GO THERE IF YOU HAVE FILE ATTACHMENTS.
To expedite your comment post time, please include the text "Docket No. DEA-442W" at the top of your comment. *


P.S. Another related anonymous source has mentioned that the media is reading these comments and are "amazed at the response." Please keep in mind this cannot be confirmed by anyone with authority at this time, but it is certainly worth mentioning that your participation will have a worthwhile impact.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Kratom Remains Legal for the Time Being

Are we dreaming?... Did the D.E.A. really postpone the ban on kratom?

Pinch yourself and you'll find that you aren't. This goes to show just how powerful the kratom community has grown, just how much support we have managed to garner behind this miracle tree. If anything, this is a true testament to how positive an impact kratom has had on such a massive regional scale.

Judging by the 141,000+ signatures as of the time of this writing according to a petition initiated on August 30th, 2016 (a mere single month before the scheduled ban), kratom has helped a hell of a lot of people. Having been in charge of The Secret Garden Guide for close to 1.5 years, I have had the great pleasure of getting to know many individual’s stories—those who have found solace in kratom's capacity to improve their quality of life in numerous ways.

On a personal level, many of my conversations have been with those who have found kratom beneficial for alleviation in respect to a multitude of medicinal/psychological conditions treated by most doctors: social anxiety, depression, chronic pain, alcohol and opiate addiction, and sleep disorders to keep the list short. Conversely, there is very little anecdotal or scientifically backed evidence to support detractors’ claims that kratom poses a legitimate threat to the well-being of our society.

On a more somber note, it is worth making clear that nobody has "won” this so-called war. This will continue to be an ongoing struggle until the impending ban is either lifted, modified, or instated. Also worth clarifying is the fact that not only U.S. proponents, but international voices have fought commendably against a battle which should have never commenced. The spirit of this society must continue to dispel the demonization of one of nature’s grand gifts.

I strongly encourage everyone to persevere in making any/every effort possible for the preservation of kratom. Below are some helpful links:

Articles/Sites of Interest:

Dear readers, be sure to suggest any further articles worthy of sharing on this topic with or leave a comment on this post. Keep aware, stay smart and up to date with the latest news. A very special thanks goes out to everyone who has made an effort in preserving kratom’s life span.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

DEA Categorizing Kratom as Schedule I September 30th

Extremely disappointing news has surfaced. See above embedded video to hear Hercules' thought provoking view on the matter. For those who have found kratom to be of genuine medicinal benefit and not yet heard, the big boys at the DEA have decided that as of September 30th, 2016 Kratom and its alkaloids will be categorized as a Schedule I drug alongside historically harmful chemicals as heroin and cocaine. Anyone familiar with this plant should know quite well that this is an extreme measure, and groups such as AKA (American Kratom Association) are taking measures to defuse the situation.

We are sad to announce The Secret Garden Guide will no longer be reviewing kratom, and our old reviews will remain strictly for archival purposes. As much as we hate to put the days of this natural wonder behind, it should be affirmed that The SGG is an ethnobotanical publication, not a kratom publication and our name needs to be preserved. The SGG was founded on principles of integrity and part of that integrity circumventing any unnecessary controversy. Although our primary focus has been on kratom this past year and a half, we will be shifting gears and covering other medicinally beneficial, legal ethnobotanicals such as kava (Piper methysticum), various herbal remedies and other holistic medicines.

In the meantime, here are some useful links for those looking to take some action. These links will be updated. Any unlisted links pertinent to the banning of kratom can be suggested to or posted as a comment to this article.

All of this being said, the "war" isn't over just yet. AKA and other organizations/individuals have been making swift movements using their influence in attempt to protect the legality and availability of a naturally occurring tree whose leaves have given many pain and addiction patients clean relief.

In addition, it is worth mentioning any companies who wish to have their reviews removed for peace of mind or any proper authorities who consider leaving kratom reviews online contradictory to changing laws, please feel free to e-mail to discuss such matters. With reviews of over 100 kratom products, we've had a fantastic run guiding readers toward many professional, honest, quality companies. We have sponsored contests amounting to over 7 kilograms in prizes. Most importantly, we have met many great people in the kratom community who will remain close friends.

Stay tuned for any updates in links and info. A very special thanks goes out to all of our devoted readers, and we hope you will continue to look towards us for info and reviews on various ethnobotanicals and herbal remedies.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

Soul Speciosa Ultra Enhanced Indo

UEIs are notorious for their potency at lower volumes. Custom made, a typical process involves starting with premium leaf, refining that leaf, and adding a pre-determined ratio of pure alkaloid to regular leaf. For those curious parties interested in the scientific breakdown of kratom alkaloids, you can find a detailed list on the Kratom Science's forum.

UEI's high potency factor makes for a desirable product to those looking for a more intense scent in their kratom. If regular leaf doesn't cut it, UEI is bound to. One downside is price, which is usually significantly elevated because of its power and the manual labor involved in the developing process.

Depending on the process and the isolated alkaloid formula, different companies have markedly different qualities of UEI, as they are typically custom manufactured in-house or purchased wholesale from another company who specializes in making such a product. Typically residing on the much more relaxing end of the spectrum, I have in fact run into UEI's with a little edge to it.

Soul Speciosa's UEI doesn't disappoint. It is definitely on the "red" end of the spectrum. According to one of the representatives, "this is the same UEI formula that Kratom connoisseurs have grown to love. Very closely a return to the original formula supply by Speciosa Specialists, years ago. Standardized to contain 250mg of pure alkaloid per five grams of material. This comes out to a 5% alkaloid content."

POTENCY: 8.9/10 - Soul Speciosa's UEI is a strong, rich blend that is not likely to disappoint even connoisseurs.
VALUE: 8.0/10 (starts at $44.99 for 5g) - A single burning session (1g-2g recommended) for most users will average out to about $5-$10 depending on experience.
OVERALL: 8.6/10 - A solid blend that will leave a grin on your face for a couple hours before finding yourself lured into a slumber.

Sample generously provided by Soul Speciosa